In response to the increasing demand (and shortage) of water, Orange County recently opened a new groundwater replenishment system that will funnel treated wastewater into the general supply. While the idea of drinking what essentially used to be sewage is alarming, the "recycled" water is filtered to the point that it is cleaner than rain. After these treatments, it is channeled into a lake water reservoir where it remains for at least six months, filtering again naturally through sand and gravel.
Scientists and the general population differ in their opinion about using treated wastewater for drinking. Some see it as a smart solution to a growing problem, especially in our increasingly eco-conscious society. Others are worried about risks to the public health, or are just plain squeamish about the water's origins. When thinking about the general "ick" factor, though, consider this-- following treatment at the plant, the "recycled" water tested more pure than a popular brand of bottled water.